Reducing the U.S. nuclear force by 80%, a move under consideration by the White House, amounts to unilateral disarmament at a time when “the Iranians are nuking up,” Rush Limbaugh said today on his radio show. A report by the Associated Press said the US could reduce the number of deployed weapons to 300 (fewer than China). The last time we had 300 warheads was in the ’50’s.
Washington Post The Obama Regime is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned. Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.
The potential cuts would be from a current treaty limit of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads.
A level of 300 deployed strategic nuclear weapons would take the U.S. back to levels not seen since 1950 when the nation was ramping up production in an arms race with the Soviet Union. The U.S. numbers peaked at above 12,000 in the late 1980s and first dropped below 5,000 in 2003.
Obama has often cited his desire to seek lower levels of nuclear weapons, but specific options for a further round of cuts had been kept under wraps until the AP learned of the three options now on the table.
New U.S. cuts could open the prospect for a historic reshaping of the American nuclear arsenal, which for decades has stood on three legs: submarine-launched ballistic missiles, ground-based ballistic missiles and weapons launched from big bombers like the B-52 and the stealthy B-2. The traditional rationale for this “triad” of weaponry is that it is essential to surviving any nuclear exchange. In the 2013 defense budget submitted to Congress on Monday, the administration proposed a two-year delay in the development of a new generation of ballistic missile submarines that carry nuclear weapons.